Virginia Hunting Seasons, 2016-2017


Looking for a state with big game? Virginia offers a list of larger sized animals for hunters such as deer, elk, bear and turkey, as well as small game like squirrel and quail. Virginia hunting seasons take place throughout the year in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

Virginia has the perfect combination of beautiful scenery, American history, and southern charm to compliment an exciting hunting season.

 

 

Bear Seasons

Youth and Apprentice Hunt Day Oct. 8-9
Archery Oct. 1-Nov. 18
Muzzleloader Nov. 12-18
Firearms Oct. 1-Jan. 7*

*Season dates vary by region. For more information on hunting dates in your region, visit the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries website.

One bear can be harvested per year. Bears must weigh at least 100 pounds live (or minimum 75 pounds field dressed). It is illegal to hunt female bears with cubs.

Deer Seasons

Youth and Apprentice Hunt Day Sept. 24-25
Early Archery Oct. 1-Nov. 18
Archery Dec. 1-Jan. 7*
Urban Archery Sept. 3-30*
Jan. 8-Mar. 26*
Early Muzzleloader Nov. 5-18*
Late Muzzleloader Dec. 17-Jan. 7*
Firearms Nov. 19-Jan. 7

*Season dates vary by region. For more information on hunting dates in your region, visit the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries website.

Elk Seasons

General Season Concurrent with deer seasons

*Taking elk counts towards a hunter’s deer permits and bag limit. Licenses and check-in procedures for elk are the same as for deer. Successful elk hunters are required to contact the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries so that samples for diseases can be collected. Additionally, some regions are restricted from elk hunting, as the department is restoring populations throughout the state.

Turkey Seasons

Fall Archery Oct. 1-Nov. 12
Fall Youth and Apprentice Hunt Oct. 15-16
Fall Firearms Oct. 29-Jan. 28*
Spring Youth and Apprentice Hunt Apr. 1-2
Spring Turkey Apr. 8-May 13

Small Game Seasons

Crow Aug. 20-Mar. 18
Wed., Fri., Sat. and Sun. only
Groundhog Open season on private land
Sept. 1-Mar. 10 on public lands
Grouse (West of I-95) Oct. 29-Feb. 11
(East of I-95) Closed Season
Quail and Pheasant Nov. 12-Jan. 31
Rabbit Nov. 5-Feb. 28
Squirrel (Fall) Sept. 3-Jan. 31*
(Spring) June 3-17; closed on national forest lands

Bag limits, special seasons and hunting regulations for Virginia hunting seasons do vary based on animal and seasons. For more information on obtaining licenses, permits and regulations, visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
*Shooting hours begin at noon on opening day. All other days are ½ hour before sunrise until sunset